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A great book about a boy and his dad, perfect for Father’s Day! Billy is ‘difficult to please’ but his Dad does his very best to amuse him with some of the worlds best instruments, animals, games and a trip to space, but ungrateful Billy gets what he’s due!

Happy Father’s Day to Mr Peacock and all the other Dad’s who have children who are occasionally ‘difficult to please too!’!

Star Chart

February 9, 2011

In the post-christmas and birthday come down, Martha in particular has had the naughties, I have tried to guide her need for attention onto a more desirable path but that does not seem to be working, so its time for a new star chart. We have used these before to help encourage better behavior so am giving another one a go.

We have always sat down and made our star charts, this way we can discuss the reasons for it, and decide together on visual representations of the good behaviors and what treat she can have after her set number of stars (10 in this case, and she wants go swimming!). Alice is included in this one for the first time, I am quite sure she hasn’t got a clue whats going on, but I don’t want Martha to feel singled out and Alice loves anything to do with stickers.

I use a big piece of lining paper and we draw out a big square with a black wax crayon, then subdivide it into the relevant number of boxes. The things I would like Martha to do at the moment are; trying to be polite, by remembering to say please and thank-you, so this is represented by the words please and thank-you and a smiley face. Listening to mummy, (I find myself repeating the same questions on a loop at the moment), so we drew an ear. Not pulling an angry face and stamping her feet if I say something she doesn’t like (if looks could kill I would be 6 feet under by now), so we drew an angry face and two feet in a circle with a line through it – Martha is slightly obsessed with signs at the moment and tells me the rules for everywhere we go, at the petrol station for example, I am told that I can’t use my phone and children cannot use the petrol pumps. I want her to start doing things quickly when I ask her to do them, like put on her pajamas at bedtime, or her shoes so we can get to nursery, so we drew a clock. And finally we drew two open hands to represent sharing – particularly with her sister. Then we got out the little solid paints and coloured it all in. I don’t worry about the quality of my drawing, she remembers what all the pictures mean anyway, sometimes we decorate around the star chart with pictures to remind her of her chosen treat. The watery solid paints do not cover over the wax crayon. When it was dry we stuck it up on their bedroom door so we can stick star stickers (bought from Ryman’s stationery shop some time ago) in the appropriate boxes at bedtime.

We are three days in already and although she has a few stars for doing things quickly and saying please and thank-you she still needs to work on listening and sharing, but it does look like I’ll be fishing out my swimming costume at the weekend!

Red Fish/Poisson Rouge

July 28, 2010

I promised to do a post on red fish before, so here it is -sorry about the delay! A wonderful friend -who is a primary school teacher put me onto this site, it is genius. My 3 and 1/2 year old can navigate her way around this site all on her own has taught her basic computer skills, quite detailed mouse control/motor skills/hand and eye coordination –  and countless other stuff that she is just picking up. When we visited the Tate modern she knew the Jackson Pollock work from Red Fish’s gallery page. When she broke her collar bone and we had to take her for an x-ray she knew exactly what it was based on her interactions with ‘x’ for x-ray on the English alphabet page! – They have the alphabet in English, Spanish, Greek, American, and French and there are vocabulary lessons in Greek, American, French, English and Chinese! As well as numbers, maths, stories, songs and games, it seems to be completely endless, and best of all Martha loves it and it’s free!

Bookmark immediately http://www.poissonrouge.com